Below are staff reviews of select new books in the Youth Services Department.
For a list of all the new and forthcoming Youth books, click here.
New Book Reviews
Reading Level: Grades 4 - 7
You don't have to be a gamer to love this book. It's an action-packed, hilarious adventure of video games and spies. Pete Wilson is short $20 to buy the newest, most awesome video game, Brawl-A-Thon 3000XL. Since he need money he decides, without permission, to hold a garage sale and sell his father's ancient 8-bit game console CommandRoid 85 to The Bug Man. Mistake!!! His father is kidnapped and the President of the U.S. starts talking nonsense. It's up to Pete and friends to save the day. (game on) Cartoons and heavily pixilated images by Andy Rash make a winning combination.
Meet illustrator Andy Rash at the iRead kick-off on January 10th.
Reading Level: Preschool - Grade 2
With typical humor and understanding, Schneider creates another gem of a picture book. Amelia and her doll, Princess Sparkle -Heart, do everything together. There's tea parties, weddings, and secrets. But on every page there's the GRRRRRR of the jealous family dog until the pup tears up Princess Sparkle-Heart. Mom comes in with her sewing box to save the day for the heartbroken Amelia. Working together, they show that love and creativity can create wonders.
Meet author Josh Schneider at the iRead kick-off on January 10th.
Reading Level: Grades 3 - 5
Nine-year-old cousins Willow and Delia are happy to be at the their annual family vacation in Saugatuck, Michigan. They're happy that Aunt Rosie's wedding will be in just a few days. What they're not happy about is the pink,poufy, babyish flower girl dresses they are expected to wear at her wedding. They decide to show Aunt Rosie how much better it would be if they were the wedding caterers instead. But there's a new grown- up cook in the kitchen and some of their recipes don't turn out exactly as planned. Add in some impossible older sisters and some real-life problems and mix well for a sweet read The book includes some of delicious recipes that would be fun to make!
Meet author Kate Hannigan at the iRead kick-off on January 10th.
Reading Level: Grades 5 - 8
Can a 13-year-old girl really make a difference in the world? While she's never been the "kind of person who goes out of her way to help people" Nina decides to do one nice thing for a neighbor for each day of the summer. All the while she's dealing with the loss of her beloved grandmother, her type-A parents, and her brother who may be headed for trouble. Nina also deals with her changing friendship with her best friend, Jorie. It's even harder when she realizes they both has a crush on the same neighbor boy, This is a feel-good read with a bright, charming heroine you'll be rooting for.
Meet author Michele Weber Hurwitz at the iRead Kick-off on January 10th.
Reading Level: Grades 4 - 6
In 1904, 11-year-old Frances and her younger brother Harold are sent on an orphan train heading to Kansas from New York. On the train they meet Jack, whose family could not afford to keep him. When they hear rumors about horrible conditions that await them in Kansas, the three children jump the train. They meet up with Alexander, a boy who has escaped from a work farm and set up his own "kids-only" town called Wanderville. There they find happiness until the unthinkable happens.
This is the first in a series of historical fiction.
Meet author Wendy McClure at the iRead kick-off on January 10.
Reading Level: Grades K - 2
Nate the Great and Sludge his dog have five cases in one day. Nate the Great does not want to have five cases. He and Sludge would like to take a break from being detectives Nate the Great and Sludge go to a costume shop to get disguises so they do not have to solve their cases or look like detectives. Nate the Great does not like any of the disguises so they do not get any. They go to the woods to be alone and quiet and everyone thinks they have been lost and come after them. The real mystery is: will Nate the Great and Sludge ever get some peace and quiet?
Reading Level: Grades 7 and up
Kit's mother was a serial killer before she married. She had a drop box in London where people could request a murder and she marked each of her victims with a magic marker heart on their chest, but she never managed to reach the notoriety that most serial killers do. After "quitting" her mother uses her experience to train her only child to be a perfect killing machine. Kit takes over the drop box (with her mother's help) at age nine and, as she grows older and becomes independent, leaves her calling card, the letters cleaned of all DNA, with each of her victims. By the time she is seventeen she has reached Jack the Ripper status and is known to the public as The Perfect Killer. However, when she gets a request from a classmate to kill another classmate things begin to spiral out of control.
Reading Level: Grades 2 - 5
When Sylvia's family moved to a new town in California, her aunt took her and her brothers along with her cousins to register for school. The school secretary gave enrollment forms to her two light skinned, light haired cousins, but informed Sylvia and her brothers that they would have to attend the Mexican school. After getting the runaround from every branch of the local government in a town where it was not unusual to see signs that read, "No dogs or Mexicans allowed" Sylvia's father decided the only thing to do was sue the Westminster School District to prove that segregation was unfair; a point that had to be proven seven years later by the more famous Brown vs. The Board of Education case.
Reading Level: Grades K - 4
Elizabeth the elephant seal lived in a park in the middle of a busy city. The residents all loved her, but drivers did not because she had a tendency to take naps in the middle of the road. Eventually the government decided that Elizabeth needed to be relocated to an elephant seal colony well away from the city where she would be happy. However, Elizabeth had a different opinion about what would make her happy.